We meet all kinds of musicians and bands at weddings. We attend lots of weddings with our mobile creperie, and to be frank, most are very similar, both in terms of musical styles and performance. It’s safe to say that “CoCo and the Butterfields” don’t fall into that category – but in a good way.
As mentioned on their website, the band originate from Canterbury, Kent, and have been together for several years. Impressively, they have played at Glastonbury, were contenders for this year’s Eurovision Song Contest and were described as “a very cool band” by none other than Bob Geldof. Having heard them and talked with them, we’d have to agree. Additionally, anyone who orders a rum, chocolate and coconut pancake at a wedding has to have great taste!
We chatted with the band as we were serving them with crepes and they described their style as “Folky Hip-Hop”. (Yes, we struggled to imagine that as well!). Things became clearer when we learned that the band comprised of singer, violinist, bass, guitar, banjo and beatbox – so there is definitely a blend of folk and hip-hop elements there! They described the type of music they played as R&B covers so we were curious to hear more as the evening wore on.
We noticed as soon as they began that they grabbed the attention of the guests and the dancefloor was packed very quickly, which is always a good sign. The queue at our crepe stand also eased off somewhat which was a welcome relief! The musical style was a folky slant on popular, recognisable hits and the band were very energetic and put everything into the performance. They were by no means a “going-through-the-motions” average wedding band.
As the night wore on, a trumpet was introduced and the beatbox “percussionist” became more and more influential in the sound. It was interesting to see a band generate so much rhythm without a traditional drum set up.
Musically the band were great but they also looked the part as well – stylish, with an alternative (yet entirely appropriate for a wedding) look, with a selection of dreadlocks, waistcoats, hats, long hair and beards on view (of course the last two always look good, in my opinion!)
Compared to a usual wedding band, they played for a much longer period before taking a break and were clearly enjoying the evening as much as everyone else. It is obvious that they have a very professional mentality and carry the same attitude with them at weddings as they presumably do at large festivals – this year they are going everywhere from Kent to Devon, (including Salisbury and Poole) and are travelling as far north as Inverness and Moray in Scotland – in other words, pretty much the same territory we cover for weddings with our mobile crepes van!
In summary it made a refreshing change to encounter an alternative wedding band who were actually good! They played a variety of recognisable songs along along with some unlikely choices which worked surprisingly well due to the unique feel they managed to generate (Coming Round the Mountain with a beatbox backing, for instance!) They were polite, friendly and set up with a minimum of fuss, but most of all they had the dancefloor jammed and the feedback we got from guests was very positive indeed.
I would certainly recommend hiring Coco and the Butterfields for a wedding or similar celebration.